From the Otsego Herald
for Saturday, July 3, 1813
Compiled, with comments
by HUGH C. MacDOUGALL
Sacket’s Harbor Saved
Dispatch from Brigadier-General Brown, to the Secretary of War ... June 1, 1813. SIR—You will have received my dispatch of the 29th [May] written from the field of battle ... that this post had been attacked by Sir George Prevost, and that we had succeeded in repulsing him ...
In the course of the morning of the 28th .. .the enemy’s fleet ... appeared accompanied by a large number of boats ... I determined to meet him at the water’s edge, with such militia as I could collect and the Albany volunteers ... The care of Fort Tompkins was committed to the regular artillerists and some volunteers, and that of Navy Point to ... the navy ...
A considerable militia force came in, and were ordered to the water side near Horse Island ... Our strength at this point was now five hundred men — all anxious for battle, as far as professions would go. The moment it was light enough to discover ... the enemy, we found ... 33 boats filled with troops ... under cover of the fire of his gunboats.
My orders were, that the troops should lie close and reserve their fire till the enemy had approached so near that every shot might hit its object. It is, however, impossible to execute such orders with raw troops unaccustomed to subordination. My orders were in this case disobeyed. The whole line fired, and not without effect ... but to my utter astonishment they rose from their cover and fled ...
I was personally more fortunate.—Gathering together about 100 militia ... we threw ourselves on the rear of the enemy’s left flank, and I trust did some execution. It was during this last movement that the regulars ... first engaged the enemy—nor was it long before they defeated him. Hurrying to this point of action, I found the battle still raging, but with obvious advantage on our side ... Had not Gen. Prevost retreated most rapidly under the guns of his vessels, he would never have returned to Kingston ... I am, sir ... JACOB BROWN, Brig. Gen. of the N.Y. Militia.